Tears were shed today, both in sorrow and happiness.

I made the trek to scout camp today to change out Frankie’s insulin pod.I went with a mission in mind-not to ‘talk diabetes’ to Frankie, but to rejoice in the fun, experience, and activities he is taking part in- while bravely navigating diabetes through it all. Diabetes had other plans.

Frankie at camp

I get to camp—freaking a long ride. When they say “Heart of the Adirondack Mountains” they are not kidding! I see Dad 1 and Dad 2 approach; one- who I am very close friends with has ‘the look.’ As we exchange hello’s- I am thinking—“there was no look, was there a look?” Dad 3 and Dad 4 arrive with Frankie. He looks good, not great, but good. We hug, and I hold on a bit tighter than normal. “How is it? Having fun?” I ask him—keeping to my mission. “Yeah” He says as one of the Dads begins to explain last night. Oh crap—there was a look!

The short version: Middle of the night low blood glucose, a stubborn one, that would not come up—until finally it did, and then it didn’t, repeat, repeat, repeat. The roller coaster that can be diabetes –up & running and taking passengers. On board the coaster all last night-Frankie, 2 Dads, and the camp nurse.

Final result –high numbers today, with ketones, which after new insulin, water and the rest would not budge and Frankie came home-for safety.

Tears of sorrow, because my kid can’t just be a kid. Tears—because the worst problem to battle for an 11 year old at camp – should be homesickness, but Frankie has to battle T1D. Today T1D won the match. That SUCKS!

Tears of happiness—for a lot of reasons—the first being that THE PLAN was followed—to the letter. Frankie feels the low, checks and treats but knows his body & that he is experiencing a quick dropping low and alerts the Dads. Dads promptly alert the nurse via walkie talkie, get Frankie in a car and on the way to the health office where the nurse meets them ready for action. He was never alone—they all took turns staying awake to watch over him, slept in the health office for safety—and KNEW the medical plan and followed it -averting an extreme diabetes emergency. Thanks to all the Dads- who sat through my ‘classes’ on type 1 diabetes before camp- agreed to be trained and take it on—so Frankie could go. Thanks for doing exactly what needed to be done to keep him safe—I couldn’t have done it better! No thank you card, gift, or words of praise can ever really express my gratitude. They will be given—but they will never come close to matching the value of these actions.

The second—Tears of happiness for Frankie. I can tell you that at 11 years old I would not have the guts to do what Frankie does. 11 years old—off in the middle of God’s country, with a disease he knows can kill him, and the medicine (insulin) given incorrectly, he knows can kill him-but he goes, gives it his all, and he got the job done for 3 whole days. Top that off with what he says to me on the car ride home… “It was fun while it lasted.” Frankie- always finding the silver lining.

Tonight I am full of emotions. I put him to bed and can now cry my eyes out.  I hate type 1 diabetes for what it takes from my son, but I am so proud of the brave young man he has become because of it.


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